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ASP Tips of the Month...

Issue 7

Welcome all, to the very latest edition of the tips of the month flyer. This month we’re focusing on the Tutorial, and have some great tips to help you get the most from your sessions. Next month we’re pooling our tips to help teams who are getting prepared for Internal and External Verification! Here’s an exercise in groups where learners are given a list of things they are left with on Tips from Construction Team... an island after their ship goes down - the learners have to debate in a group until they have worked out the priorities. When the group has what they believe is a solution they debate with the next group and it goes on until the class has a solution - you then give the SAS version of the solution and the whole class debates the rights and wrongs - We have a paper version but not the electronic one if anyone would like it!!! Also, we have held inter-trade sports competitions during early tutorials - always popular, but not half as popular as repairing our broken Scaletric set - the learners have to fix the cars and track and then set it up for races between learners until we have a class champ. Any more help, just ask… we don’t bite you know! Andy.

We all know Sharing the Workload & Improving Individual Tutorials: individual tutorials take time to prepare and complete. The idea behind sharing the work load is to make tutorials not only easier to prepare and complete but also to increase the specific value to the learner. Learners should be given a checklist a week or so before the tutorial which could include: targets (SMART), aims, progress, goals and planning. From this checklist the learner would be asked to prepare for the individual tutorial session. After a little practice learners should start to bring detailed information which can be utilised to ensure all aspects of the tutorial process are thoroughly discussed and evaluated within the slot. It can also be a good idea if applicable for the learner to write notes or perhaps type up the tutorial within the session. This not only enables the tutor to solely concentrate on the discussion and questions but can also give the learner an increased feeling of ownership over the tutorial process. Try it, and let me know how you get on ~Nick.  Send your Tips to: 

Here’s a pretty sensible, but often forgotten tutorial tip ~ remember that these times are just as important to learners as the regular sessions they attend. For example, try to ensure they are well planed and that you have all supportive resources in place before the beginning of the tutorial. Plus, be aware of what precisely each learner requires and what goals they have on completion of their course. Learners often use this time to discuss issues and talk through ideas and decisions they may have made for the future, so if you’re as prepared as best you can be with what qualifications and specific requirements they may need to obtain these goals, you’ll avoid breaks and the learners losing interest. A simple, yet effective tip I hope, Libby!

Wise Words!

A “tip” that I was reminded about from Virgil Officer in Teacher Training this morning is as follows: Situation: Learner needs to develop confidence skills and finds it difficult to talk in group situations. The tip here is to set them very short, achievable targets to help develop their confidence. For example, they will be expected to answer one simple question verbally in the next session; the week after their target will be to answer a more detailed question verbally; the following week they will be required to act as group spokesperson and verbally summarise main feedback points from a group discussion. The tutor’s feedback will need to be supportive and encouraging.

Building Confidence...

Give it a go, and then thank Virgil in person!! Ian!

It takes a little bit of time to prepare but the Easter Egg hunt is great fun. I have got some rhyming clues that Easter Egg Hunt! I have used for the last few years and changed slightly and added to (so last years group do not know where the eggs are hidden) which if you are interested I could share. You can either make sure everyone gets a prize (with a small group) or the first person to get to the egg gets it. I usually make the questions Performing Arts themed and use the places within the college that they are familiar with. The learners love this and it gets their brains ticking at the same time! Have fun, Victoria! Have you got any similar ideas that you want to share? Send your tips to the SASP Team, and we’ll include them in the next issue. Best Tip each month wins a prize!!!


Another good tip for tutorials is getting feedback from our learners is a critical way in which we can improve our teaching practice and give them the best possible learning experience. Tutorial is the ideal opportunity to do this with your learners in small, informal groups. I find it useful to set the scene with tutees before getting feedback. In particular, learners need to feel that their comments and ideas will not only be taken seriously, but also that (sensible) suggestions will be put into practice.

Getting Feedback

On the flip side, it is important that learners understand that this isn’t just an opportunity to slate a particular lesson or tutor, and that their comments need to be both objective and realistic!!! In the context of tutorial, it is perhaps most productive to ask learners open-ended questions (rather than restricting their responses to simple ‘yes’ ‘no’ answers). I’ve suggested some useful questions below, but you may want to add others that are specific to your area / group of learners. • • • •

What activities or techniques do my teachers use that help me to learn? What aspects of my classes do I really enjoy and want to take part in? What aspects of my classes do I dislike and not really want to take part in? What resources or activities could your teachers use in classes and how would these help you with your studies? You could also spend a couple of minutes at your next team meeting feeding back your findings to other subject tutors in your area. Just a thought! Good luck, Nicki!

To organise a team building session for a group of disruptive students who had not yet gelled (or any group of students) - start with a string exercise. Students sit in a circle, one holds a large ball of string, the tutor asks a question of the group, (ours was "Why are you here" ) the student with the string answers the question then says another persons name before throwing the ball of string to them. Before each student throws the string they loop it around their finger and so as the ball is passed from person to person it makes a web. The team building part is working together to Team Building Task... get your peers out of the tangle the string has made and back to your seats. The staff also learn a great deal about the students. What are you waiting for? Give it a go… Sarah.  Send your Tips to: 

Ask the learners to set their own targets for the tutorial session. Make sure they are Novel Target Setting Task. SMART targets. At the end of the session get them to review their targets and reflect on what they have done. You could ask, “Did you complete the target? Were they too easy or hard? Should you have broken it down into more targets?” Keep the targets for the next session and use the reflection to set the new one. Give it a go & let me know how you get on! Richard.

To save time in completing the learners ILP’s you could modify the ILP template with as much information as possible before incorporating the learner-specific information (making it right for you!)...

Thinking on Your Feet!!!

• •

Tutors need to work with the academic team in order to finalise the lecturers and subjects/units for the entire academic year. Set SMART assignment deadlines for the academic year.

Once the ILP merge has been completed • Task the learners (especially L3) with evaluating the units they will be studying and developing their own Target / Aspirational Grades – these should take into consideration their required final grade/UCAS points needed for progression onto HE, etc. • Use the VLE drop-in boxes to encourage the learners to complete Section 1 and then each Term for updating their personal / career plans • Keeping all ILP’s on the central server (CDC02) within your own business area enables other teaching staff to update the ILP’s with their review notes and Success Grid marks. The result should be that you only need to spend a maximum of 5-10 minutes per learner in discussing any academic issues, updating the assessment and review notes and completing the “Success Criteria grid” • The end result being that you only need to print off the two pages relevant to that Review period and then get the learner to sign the required pages. If you want to use the file I have; get some more help, or if you get stuck, why not pop over to WGC to see me… I’m always glad to help, Paul K.

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In one tutorial, agree on a topical theme in the news. Students can then spend the next week looking at newspapers and internet sites to fully remain informed about any developments about the chosen topic. When the next tutorial arises, there can be a discussion on the topic, with students presenting their own views and opinions.

Topical News...

This will enhance a student’s holistic education, and (hopefully) make them more informed about world affairs. Surely this is better than just being able to discuss reality T.V shows and the football! A sure fire way to get your learner’s interest, Paul S. Ask learners to carry out an internal SWOT Analysis on themselves. The SWOT Analysis needs to be based on their views regarding their performance in term 2. From here, the learners could set up an action plan which highlights ways they could improve with targets & timescales for term 3. The tutor can then set up 1:1 meetings to discuss the targets and review them regularly. I’ve used this a lot, so hope it works for you, Viren.

Little SWOTs


At the end of a session to recap what learners have learnt, I give them a piece of paper and get them to write a question about the session to ask another peer. This gives a competition theme to the activity where they have to choose a person to ask, my learners really enjoy it. It works really well and gets the learners to think for themselves, so give it a go, Sally.

Peer Learning Check! Sometimes students struggle to communicate face-to-face in group tutorials. Use forums on Oaklearn to allow more members in your tutor group to have a voice. You set the forum, the students start the discussions. We've used them in the past and a lot of students came out of their shells. You may also want to try using blogs Private Blogs! that only teachers can read. This way students can raise individual concerns even when they're not scheduled for a one-to-one appointment. They may also find it easier to tell you some things in this way. Try is and see for yourselves, Ewan and Darren Morgan, from Sports.

Have you got any similar ideas that you want to share? Send your tips to the SASP Team, and we’ll include them in the next issue. Best Tip each month wins a prize!!!

Set up a spelling programme: In Week one create a list of words used in the course – Spelling & Numeracy Tips depending on level but no more than 10. These words should preferably link in some way e.g Dyspnoea, Apnoea, Tachycardia Bradycardia. In Week 2 spelling test any words that are incorrect put back on the new weeks list. In Week 3 short dictation using the words learnt in the first week. This can be built into a story week by week. This seems to work best over a term. It is designed to be used individually but I have used it in groups successfully. Alternatively, try money management: Set up a budget sheet with the learners. Use each column to identify where they spend money. Ask them to fill in all the columns and add them up (numeracy) and keep this record for a week or month. Then ask them to identify where they could make savings and see where their money goes. A nice activity, and one guaranteed to help with basic skills, Anne.

Here’s a great activity that some of you might remember from the New Teacher’s induction sessions last term, which works well with many groups of learners. Use this drawing of a Jelly Baby Tree or make your own. Show it to the class and ask learners to choose one figure that expresses how they feel at this moment. Ask them to share with the group which one they have chosen and why. It might be at UCAS time, or even at the end of the term. Next, hand out coloured paper and coloured pens. Ask the group to draw/ paint a picture that expresses who they are (or add to the tree). When everyone has finished ask people to pair up and explain their picture to their partner. The partners then introduce each other to the group using the picture. A fun way to get learners to share with others, and also a way of being creative without really thinking about it! The image is also at, so Jelly Baby Tree... go on, have a go. Simon.

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Tip of the Month Flyer 7 - tutorials  

Tip of the Month Flyer 7 - tutorials

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